Learning about sustainable period products will now be on the agenda for local schoolgirls thanks to the efforts of a zero-waste group.
The initiative was led by Louise Carson and Viki Lucas of ‘Journey to Zero Waste Jersey’, a 3,000-strong Facebook group where islanders swap eco tips and ideas.
Louise said the idea sprouted from a discussion between Viki and her daughter, who had just been talking about periods in schools.
When Viki heard that no sustainable products had been discussed during the lesson, she and Louise decided to try and find a solution.
In addition to writing to companies who produce such items, Louise spoke to the Education Department, who got on board “really quickly” but sadly had no budget to purchase the products.
Pictured: The Co-Op's Eco Fund granted the group £1,200 to purchase demonstration products for local schools.
Louise, who is also in charge of the Philip’s Footprints recycling scheme, then applied to the Co-Op’s Eco Fund, which provides grants to local good causes aiming to protect and regenerate our local environment.
“I didn’t expect to get anything,” Louise said. “But I got a cheque, and I was blown away - it was £1,200. It was not enough for the full pack that I would have ideally hoped for, but it was really exciting.”
After receiving the good news, Louise kept on talking with companies who either sent free items like Moon Cup or provided “generous” discounts like Hey Girls, Cheeky Wipes and Dame.
Louise was eventually able to afford a full pack demonstrating a range of reusable and organic products for 38 schools, including organic tampons, cups, as well as period pants and reusable pads.
Pictured: The packs include sustainable period products such as moon cups.
The packs also include information explaining all the products for the teachers leading the Sex and Relationship classes and Louise and Viki provided cost analysis to the Education Department.
“What is really important is this is a supplement to what they were already doing about traditional products,” Louise said.
“We are not trying to hit the girls really hard, we are trying to give them a choice. It’s not necessarily a young girl’s or teenager’s concern but they are becoming more and more eco aware.
“It’s not all or nothing either, having one reusable pad reduces waste and you can buy another when you can afford it.”
Pictured: The packs come in bags put together by members of the group.
When it came to packaging the kits, Louise and Viki appealed to members of the group to help make bags out of waste fabric Louise had squirrelled away.
Viki cut out over 40 bags and made up the instructions before driving them to the people who had offered their help.
“Everyone started sewing the bags,” Louise said. “It’s waste products that would have gone in the bin. More than 16 sewers got involved to put the bags together for us.”
Many more got involved in a discussion group, sharing their thoughts on the items they had used.
“It’s really a community, the Journey to Zero Waste initiative,” Louise said. “I am so proud that we managed to pull this together.”
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